Introduction

The captive breeding programme at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre will continue to protect endangered New Zealand wildlife, says the Department of Conservation.

Date:  02 July 2009

The captive breeding programme at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre will continue to protect endangered New Zealand wildlife, says the Department of Conservation.

Wairarapa Area manager Chris Lester says a recent review confirmed that the centre had a long-term future in captive breeding.

“But effort will focus more on those endangered species that the centre is best suited to assist. This is likely to include nationally endangered species such as kiwi, shore plover, whio (blue duck) pateke (brown teal) and kakariki.

Kiwi chick raised in captivity at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. Photo: Department of Conservation.
Kiwi chick raised in captivity at 
Pukaha Mount Bruce

“We have a proven track record in captive breeding at the National Wildlife Centre and, together with the provision of leading edge advocacy opportunities at our recently upgraded visitor centre we’re committed to the welfare of New Zealand’s wildlife” says Chris.

Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre has operated a successful captive breeding programme since the arrival of Elwyn Welch’s takahe in the 1950s.  The recovery of numerous threatened native species has been significantly assisted by pioneering work undertaken at Mount Bruce. Ongoing demand for species protection means plans for breeding programmes for nationally endangered wildlife will continue.

The Department of Conservation, in conjunction with the Pukaha Mount Bruce Board, currently manages more than six species at the National Wildlife Centre as part of national recovery programmes. 

Chris Lester is enthusiastic about the emerging opportunities to introduce new species to Pukaha and assist in their recovery.

“We’re proud to have successfully worked with native species like kokako and kaka and it’s great to see them breeding naturally in our forest. This success means we can now concentrate on other species that need our help.

“While some species are able to be bred without captive support, our predator control and restoration programmes remain a critical factor in the recovery of endangered species. The assistance of our partners at Pukaha Mount Bruce including Rangitane O Wairarapa, Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils and community organisations enables us to continue this important work.” 

Support from the BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust in the just ended financial year, enabled the upgrading of the kiwi brooding rooms and enclosures to increase the capacity for Operation Nest Egg activities.  Additionally, $35,000 was invested in upgrading the shore plover aviaries. Mount Bruce holds 70 percent of the captive population of shore plover and has successfully bred and released birds to establish self-sustaining populations on off shore islands for the past 17 years. 

Stage two of the Pukaha Mount Bruce Board’s upgrade project will include the revamp of more aviaries and the nocturnal house. Additional visitor experience and educational opportunities will also be introduced, with more iconic wildlife species eventually being displayed at the internationally-renowned wildlife centre.  ENDS

Contact

Chris Lester

Whakaoriori / Masterton Office
Phone:   +64 6 377 0700
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   masterton@doc.govt.nz
Address:   220 South Road
Masterton
Postal Address:   PO Box 191
Masterton 5840
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